TheNewDowse announces new Senior Curator

Emma BudgenCam McCracken, Director of TheNewDowse art museum, today announced the appointment of Emma Bugden as the gallery’s new Programmes Manager / Senior Curator. Emma is currently Director of Artspace in Auckland and will complete her term there before commencing at TheNewDowse in March 2011. 

TheNewDowse appointment marks a return to Wellington for Emma, who was a curator at City Gallery Wellington from 2002-2006, and follows the departure of Claire Regnault, formerly TheNewDowse Concept Development Manager, now Senior Curator, History at Te Papa.

Well respected within the arts community, Emma has a reputation as one of New Zealand’s most innovative and influential curators. 

“I am excited to take up this opportunity at TheNewDowse,” says Emma, “I have a particular interest in developing audiences; invigorating and deepening the connection a public may experience with a gallery. I am also interested in creating a programme that demonstrates a strong artistic vision.”

At Artspace, Emma has been key in the development of a new exhibition programme and was a major contributor to its strategic direction. Exhibitions under her reign have included: Daniel Knorr and Prisoners of New Zealand: Block; Alicia Frankovich: A Planes of Behaviour; Cao Fei: Utopia (with IMA, toured to DPAG and TheNewDowse); Richard Maloy: Raw Attempts. Prior to Artspace, Emma was Curatorial Director at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Manukau City from April 2006 – October 2008.  Key exhibitions there included Artur Zmijewski: a survey; Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Fairytales, mythology and the occult ; Land Wars ; Arts Society: Judy Darragh; Sweet Punch: recent Nordic video (group); and F for Fake.

While at City Gallery Wellington, Emma was responsible for a number of major exhibitions including the survey exhibition Prospect 2004: New Art New Zealand. She also worked with the national art collection to co-curate Small World, Big Town: contemporary art from Te Papa.

Between 2000 and 2002, Emma was Director of The Physics Room in Christchurch. She has also worked on a range of publications and established two artist run spaces, Black Cube in Christchurch and Honeymoon Suite in Dunedin.